A day trek to Valle Frey - Laguna Tonchek

I had 2 weeks of amazing weather when arriving in Bariloche. Warm sunshine climbing at Valle Encantado. Until the last day, Nicolas and hiked up the Valle one hour to climb a cool looking spire called the *Finger of God* We thought it would be cool
to climb it for our last day in Valle Encantado. - Dec 24th - The Valle will be closed until March, due to access issues with land owner.
After we climbed the finger... we got back to the other climbs lower down the valle and there is was, the end of sunshine! It started to rain, harder and harder. All I could think of is my poor tent didn't have the top on. Also we need to cross the river, the cold river that is! So by the time we would get to the other side, we would be soaked! When we got to our camp, yes... my poor tent was flooded, sleeping bag wet also all my extra clothes! We were lucky when the sun shinned for 1/2 hour before the end of the day so I could try to dry my tent and sleeping bag. I did manage to dry things a bit, but we decided to bail camp, back up and hitch back to Bariloche for a warm meal and Vino.

Xmas eve was fun times in Hostel La Bolsa del Deporte. - the #1 Best hostel I have yet seen since Canada! www.labolsadeldeporte.com.ar
Everyone cooked a meal and we shared an international feast and mucho Vino!!
But now since xmas, the famous Patagonia weather rolled in.... strong winds, rain and sunshine all at once. I've been wanting to go up to Frey since returning from Valle Encantado. Frey is a massive valley of granite spires, a world of alpine crack climbing.
Finally the weather cleared yesterday, the wind as stopped (for now) so I decided to pack my camera, mate, down jacket and missioned to the alpine to check it out.
The trail up to refugio Frey is one of the nicest trails I ever hiked, 3 hours threw amazing forest, then you climb a last steeper part to the refugio, with a rewarding view of the hole valley of Cerro Catedral.
I continued along a ridge line to the right side of the lake a traversed several cool peaks, easy 4th class on perfect granite.
30kms later and 9 hours - my legs we're shot...
I didn't get to climb at Frey - a reason to come back. Now the bad weather is back for another day.
My new year will be spent in Bariloche and Jan 1st it will be time to hit the road towards another climbing spot...
La Buitrera, a secret canyon with amazing climbing.

Happy New year everyone!!! Another great year of travels under my belt, Thank you for all the great compliments of my
images! Now.. another amazing year to come, starting in Patagonia.

Taking a Mate break.

Me on a mission, high above Vale of Frey.

Thank you La Sportiva for awesome shoes!

View of Lago Gutierrez from Frey.

The biggest spire in Frey - Torre Principal 2405m

Laguna Schmoll

Lonely trekker in Frey.

The refugio de Frey and Laguna Tonchek - 1700m

Climbing at Valle Encantado - Argentina

Romain waiting for the bus and always sipping on Mate.

Welcome to Vale Encantado!

Everyday we needed to cross the freezing cold river with our 2 man little rubber boat.

Romain on Directa Challenger 5.14a

Nicolas onsight on day one, Herculees, 7c, 5.12d. Good start of his trip!

Romain Gendey working his project, Directa Challenger, 5.14a.

Nicolas Vouillamoz climbing Divina con Medias, 7b+, 5.12c.

Romain Gendey sending the impressive line of Directa Challenger 8B+ 5.14A.

Romain Gendey on Nayawaliki 5.12d / 13A

Nicolas on Pulenta 5.12b.

Nicolas at the crux of Sismo Mental 5.12c.

Nicolas on Nido Laucha 5.12d.

Cintia Percivati working Buen Viaje 5.13c

Stefan Koechel of Austria sending Buen Viaje.

Joan Oliver Homar of Mallorca working the pockets of Pepe Le Puh - 8B+

Nicolas Vouillamoz working Buen Viaje 8A+, 5.13c

I set up a rope so I can shoot Nicolas and Romain climbing their projects. A local girl, La Hormiga, had been working a hard route, She gave it a go while I was hanging and shooting and sent it! it was amazing to see her climb so strong. Congrads Hormiga! great climb...
Next 4 images, Cintia *Hormiga* Percivati sending Buen Viaje, 8A+ 5,13b/c - Amazing local climber!

Next 4 images - Romain Gendey working *Pepe Le Puh* 8B+ 5,13 c/d

Mate break.

Reflection over the river.

The climbing treasure map.

Stars over the spires.

Closer view of the 3 pitch climb, *Finger of God* the climb is on the right side sky line.

The one hour approach.

Nicolas leading pitch 2, (6c - 5.11a) amazing steep buckets!

Nicolas and I on the summit of *Finger of God*

Not easy to get a ride with all this gear!!

We made it back to Bariloche after all, one hour later hitch hiking then in the back of a truck.